I’ve been thinking about internal fears for my main character most of today (well along with re-writing the horrible scene of doom). And unfortunately, I realized my MC is rather fearless. Plenty of external forces exist for her to overcome, but nothing internal. This leaves no (or limited) room for a character arc. Hum, boring.
My favourite books, the ones I refer to friends or family and return to repeatedly, have tremendous character arcs. Those main characters have to overcome both intense internal and external obstacles to achieve their goals. That feels real to me. But the struggle must fit with how our character behaves. That conflict shapes the character. It can’t do otherwise.
So I need to pick through the bones of how my main character behaves and find her internal conflict. If she doesn’t admit it to herself (most likely), a casual observer might come to the conclusion that another source is the cause of her behaviour.
And that statement makes things click for me (yes, that’s a cliché). As a vampire, my main character doesn’t drink blood. She can claim it’s because of her master’s regulations over her, but she knows deep down inside, it is because of a choice she made when she first became a vampire and what that choice cost her.
I have the bones of this already embedded in the story, but continuously loose track of it. There are a number of instances that the survival of others hinges on her ability to fight. This needs to come out in the form of internal conflict. Now, she needs to see that in order to save those she loves, she must do what once killed the one she loved. Now that’s something I can… oh never mind.